On Board Courier.


Times of day that are outside of the peak periods (e.g., early morning, mid-day, late evening, weekends, and holidays).

Operating Expenses

All expenses associated with the operation of an individual mode by a given operator. Operating expenses exclude reconciling items such as interest expenses.

Operating Ratio

The percentage of revenues that goes into operating a company. It is calculated by dividing the company’s operating expenses by its operating revenues. For example, if a company had operating revenues of $100 and operating expenses of $70, then its operating ratio would be 70% (70 divided by 100 = 0.7 or 70%).

Operations & Maintenance (O&M) costs

Costs incurred on a regular basis to operate the railroad system, and to maintain the rolling stock and railroad infrastructure in a state of good repair.

Order-Notify (O/N)

A bill of lading term to provide surrender of the original bill of lading before freight is released; usually associated with a shipment covered under a letter of credit.

OS&D (Overages-Shortages & Damages)

Overages occur when there proves to be more freight at delivery then indicated on the manifest. Shortages are just the opposite of overages. Damages are noted when freight is received that is not in the same condition as when loaded.


Location where shipment begins its movement.

Original Bill of Lading (OBL)

A document that requires proper signatures for consummating carriage of contract.


To charge more than the proper amount according to the published rates.

Owner Code (SCAC)

Standard Carrier Abbreviation Code identifying an individual common carrier. A three letter carrier code followed by a suffix identifies the carrier’s equipment. A suffix of U is a container and C is a chassis.

Packing List

Itemized list of commodities with marks / numbers but no cost values indicated.


An abbreviation for – Please Authorize Delivery against Guarantee. A request from the consignee to the shipper to allow the carrier or agent to release cargo against a guarantee, either bank or personal. Made when the consignee is unable to produce original bills of lading.


A small platform that can be 48” x 40” x 8” or 48” x 48” x 8” upon which freight is placed to facilitate movement in a warehouse or a trailer.

Palletized Loads

Loads that are on pallets, either secured by strapping or enveloped in plastic wrap by a palletizing machine.

Pallet Exchange

The shipper will specify that the carrier will leave an equal number of pallets that are loaded on his truck. If he doesn’t have an equal number the shipper may charge the load the cost of pallet replacement.

Paper Rate

A published rate that is never assessed because no freight moves under it.

Partial Load

Has the same meaning as LTL.


Unpaid invoices to the carrier.


A party named in an instrument as the beneficiary of the funds. Under letters of credit, the payee is either the drawer of the draft or a bank.


A party responsible for the payment as evidenced by the given instrument. Under letters of credit, the payer is the party on whom the draft is drawn, usually the drawee bank.

Per Diem

A term from Latin meaning – “Per Day”. A charge, based on a fixed daily rate, made by one transportation line against another for the use of its equipment.


Special authorization by the FMCSA for moving interstate freight; also a requirement to move over-sized freight from state-to-state –or- within a state. Person: Includes, but not limited to, individuals, sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, associations, cooperatives, trusts and other entities.


1) Leaving actual origin ramp or shipper’s facility as a load

2) The act of calling for freight by vehicle at the consignor’s shipping platform.


The number of individual pick-ups and/or deliveries in one load.


A transportation arrangement in which truck trailers with their loads are moved by train to a destination. Also known as TOFC – Trailer on Flat Car.


Signs on the exterior of a trailer that indicates the type of freight onboard.

Place of Delivery

Place where cargo leaves the care and custody of carrier.

Place of Receipt

Location where cargo enters the care and custody of carrier.

Point of Origin

The station at which a shipment is received by a carrier from the shipper.

Pomerene Act

Also known as the Federal Bill of Lading Act of 1916, it’s a U.S.
federal law enacting conditions by which a Bill of Lading may be issued. Penalties for issuing B/L’s containing false data include monetary fines and / or imprisonment.

Power Unit or Power Only

Indicates a tractor only – (i.e. used to move abandoned trailers or continue a load if the original tractor is disabled.)


A process employed in the shipment of citrus fruits and other perishable commodities. The fruit is packed and placed in a cold room from which the heat is gradually extracted. The boxes of fruit are packed in containers that have been thoroughly cooled and transported through to destination without opening the doors.

Prepaid (Ppd.)

Payment made to originating carrier prior to the shipment’s release. Typically paid by the consignor (shipper).


The type of freight from the consignor to the consignee.

Pro Rata

A Latin term meaning – In Proportion.


Proof-of-delivery submitted by the carrier as a condition for payment.

Public Service Commission

A name usually given to a State body having control or regulation of public utilities.

Publishing Agent

Person authorized by transportation lines to publish tariffs or rates, rules, and regulations for their account.